The realities of life during a WW2 air raid

Reports in local newspaper gave a harrowing account of what life was like during the height of the air raids attacks by the German during the Battle of Britain.  Whilst it became the norm to take shelter whilst a battle took place high in the sky above, imagine what it must of felt like not knowing what horrors lie outside.

Stories of both immense tragedy and sheer heroism filled the newspapers.

This example was published in the local newspaper in October 1940.

Four Killed in Shelter

Woman Buried, but Rescued


A husband and wife and their son and daughter were killed while they were in their shelter early on Sunday morning.

In the shelter next door, a mother and six children narrowly escaped a similar fate.  The entrance to their shelter was blocked and the children had not the strength to move the obstruction.  two wardens were on the spot within three minutes, and had to wade knee deep through water to get to the entrance.

The senior warden got into the shelter and passed out the children.  He understood everybody was out, but before leaving dashed his torch around the interior, and noticed a hand protruding from a pile of earth.  He scrapped the soil away with his hands, and finally freed the mother of the children he had just passed to safety. She was unharmed, except for two scratches on her face.

The fact that this mother is alive is sufficient to dispose of a rumour which circulated the neighbourhood to the affect that it was half-an-hour before the wardens arrived on the scene.  No one could live for half-an-hour covered in earth.


Bungalow Demolished

In a neighbourhood where incendiary bobs recently destroyed a school high explosive bombs this week destroyed a bungalow and landed in the gardens in neighbouring streets.  One made a crater in the roadway.  There were no persons injured – in fact, some people in nearby shelters slept and never even heard the explosion which smashed the bungalow.

Just across the valley two other dwelling houses were bombed,  The only person injured was on e who had remained indoors because of a cold.  Neighbours made a quick entrance and extricated him from a heap of debris, and he has since recovered from the shock and slight injury.

A resident on the area has sent a gift of £1 11s 5d to the local Spitfire Fund in appreciation of our brave airmen, and said “As you are aware, we were unfortunate to get bombed in our street last Sunday.  During that time I was able to render what assistance I could do to the demolition squad and first-aid units.  with my experience of 15 years as a fireman I was able to take note of the way the A.R.P. squads worked. and I therefore would be pleased if you would convey my praise and thanks for the orderly and thorough way they went about the duties in extricating three people from a completely destroyed house”

Bromley & District Times,  Friday 4th October 1940.

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